April 23 marked the birthday or death of world’s leading authors including Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. World Book Day is celebrated in over 100 countries all over the globe.
You may have heard of Chinua Achebe - the great man - that gave Africa a voice. So if you have time, grab his novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’. His novel has been recently listed as one of the greatest books ever written on the website of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This is a must-read and considered to be one of the most important pieces of African literature.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If you have a chance, grab Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Half the Yellow Sun’. The award-winning author is part of a new generation of African writers taking the literary world by storm.
Mariama Ba was a Senegalese author and feminist, who wrote in French. In her novel ‘So Long a Letter’, she uses her own life to create a narrative portraying her frustration with the fate of African women. In the novel, she depicts the sorrow and resignation of a woman who must share the mourning for her late husband with his second, younger wife. The novel is often used in literature classes focusing on women’s roles in post-colonial Africa.
You are missing a lot in your life if you haven’t read this book ‘Nervous Conditions’ by Tsitsi Dangarembga yet. This book introduces us to the many struggles that women experience. The non-fiction book novel takes place in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It focuses on the themes of race, class, and gender through the eyes of Tambu, a young female protagonist, who is given an opportunity to go access higher education after the death of her older brother Nhamo.
If you are into sci-fi and crime books - here is a good one for you. Lauren Beukes’s ‘Zoo City’ leaves you with a ‘what if moment? The novel is set in a world where murderers and other criminals acquire magical animals that are mystically bonded to them. The animals themselves give the owner a talent. It’s a wild, fantastic ride.
NoViolet Bulawayo’s ‘We need new Names’
NoViolet Bulawayo book earned her a Caine Prize for her short story. The book tells a story about a Zimbabwean girl coming of age in the U.S.
Lidudumalingani Mqombothi’s ‘Memories we lost’
The book, set in the Eastern Cape, explores how traditional beliefs are used to tackle schizophrenia.